In the last battle for NCGOP chairman, we were bombarded with commentary about how Jim Womack can’t beat the Democrats and can’t raise money. This year, we found that Robin Hayes — the victor in the chairman’s race — has extreme difficulty beating Democrats and has to lean on high-priced “fundraising consultants” to raise money.
We all know the statewide results from Tuesday. Oh-fer-four on some very winnable statewide judicial races. The loss of super-majorities in BOTH chambers of The General Assembly.
Jim Womack, Hayes’s reelection opponent, went back to work as chairman of the Lee County GOP. How’d he do on Tuesday?
Lee Republicans swept all three county commissioner races on the ballot. Two of the victories involved upsets of Democrat incumbents. One victory was a defense of what had been the ONLY GOP seat on the board, (One of those victories involved a 24-year-old GOP newcomer who knocked off a veteran Democrat incumbent 50 years her senior who was closely tied to former Lt. Gov Dennis Wicker and other local political establishment figures.)
The Lee GOP took TWO of the three county school board seats that were on the ballot. The party also saw victories at the Congressional, state House and state Senate levels. While the NCGOP went 0-4 in statewide races, the GOP judicial candidates split the races evenly 2-2 with the Democrats in Lee County.
The GOP took two of three district court seats on the ballot. And four of the six amendments passed — mirroring statewide results.
I talked with one longtime observer of Lee County politics about Tuesday night:
“Jim Womack is a machine. He’s been in high-gear about this election for months. He recruited some great candidates. He locked down all the precincts with volunteers. You had to walk through a gauntlet of about a dozen Republican workers — people from your church, your neighbors – just to get in your polling place. Lee County Republicans ended up winning seats many thought before the election they had a 1000-1 shot of taking.”